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Sunday, December 02, 2007

N.Y. Times: Rosenheck: Undervalued, Overlooked, but Far From Forgotten (RR)

Rosenheck enters the Hall of Merit...and what a speech!

In 2002, a group of posters at the Web site baseballthinkfactory.org decided to select an alternative Hall of Fame, choosing its inductees with the benefit of three decades of advances in baseball statistics that were unavailable for most of the actual Hall’s existence. We called the project the Hall of Merit, and set up a voting system to mimic the Hall of Fame’s annual elections. The first ballot was pegged to 1898, with eligibility limited to players who had retired before 1893. Since then, each election (held every two or three weeks, and selecting one to three players) moved the clock forward by a year in baseball history.

Tomorrow, we will hold our 111th and final regularly scheduled vote. After that election, we will have inducted 234 players, the same total as the actual Hall of Fame if it adds a member this year. We hope our results will enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the game’s history, and encourage the real Hall to revisit its missteps.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2007 at 03:44 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: community, hall of fame, history, negro leagues, site news

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Shoebo Posted: December 02, 2007 at 03:56 PM (#2631301)
The link at the bottom of the article to full list and the discussions does not work.
   2. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2631304)
But regardless, congrats, guys!
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2631321)
Yeah, a "9" found its way into the link somehow.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2631323)
Good hit, guys. And you know that when one major media outlet like the Times "discovers" you, the copycats at SI, PBS, and elsewhere probably won't be far behind. Maybe not Bill Conlin, though....
   5. Steve Treder Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2631328)
Congratulations to everyone involved with the HOM, especially its ringleaders. As exquisite in operation as it was bold in concept, it's a major contribution to everyone's enjoyment and understanding of the game's history. I've learned a ton just lurking in the discussion threads.

Bravo!
   6. Fresh Prince of Belisle Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2631333)
Good hit, guys. And you know that when one major media outlet like the Times "discovers" you, the copycats at SI, PBS, and elsewhere probably won't be far behind. Maybe not Bill Conlin, though....


The only positive thing I can think of about Pol Pot's time on earth-I'm sure he would have eliminated all Hall of Meriters. In the 1970s, Hall of Meriters were called "bourgeois enemies." They hung out in rice paddies wearing glasses. Now, they hang out on electric street corners, shoving Hall of Fame lists into New Yorkers faces. Rosenheck? They should call him Rosenhell for the stat-imbued hell he brings us. I would trust someone like Tommy Lasorda, a great human being and a fine baseballista, before some fat boys with computers.
   7. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2631334)
Can someeone contact Rosenheck and have him contact the TIMES, or simply contact the TIMES themselves to get that link fixed? That's a bummer, and someone at the TIMES should be 2 x 4'd.
   8. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:48 PM (#2631337)
I'm not hard to find, Lassus. I'll email them about it now.
   9. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2631338)
Thanks Dan - I didn't mean YOU with the 2 x 4, you realize. Working in construction in NJ has its effects on a person. ;-)
   10. Howie Menckel Posted: December 02, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2631342)
In the Hall of Merit, but not the Hall of Fame

(keep in mind that these vary from enthusiastic picks like Grich and Santo to barely-made-cause-somebody-had-to picks like Dawson and Randolph)

1 Allen, Dick
2 Barnes, Ross
3 Beckwith, John
4 Bennett, Charlie
5 Blyleven, Bert
6 Boyer, Ken
7 Browning, Pete
8 Caruthers, Bob
9 Childs, Cupid
10 Clark, Will
11 Dahlen, Bill
12 Dawson, Andre
13 Evans, Darrell
14 Evans, Dwight
15 Ferrell, Wes
16 Freehan, Bill
17 Glasscock, Jack
18 Gordon, Joe
19 Gore, George
20 Gossage, Rich
21 Grich, Bobby
22 Groh, Heinie
23 Hack, Stan
24 Hernandez, Keith
25 Hines, Paul
26 Jackson, Joe
27 Johnson, Home Run
28 Jones, Charley
29 Keller, Charlie
30 Magee, Sherry
31 McGwire, Mark
32 McVey, Cal
33 Minoso, Minnie
34 Moore, Dobie
35 Nettles, Graig
36 Oms, Alejandro
37 Pearce, Dickey
38 Pierce, Billy
39 Pike, Lip
40 Randolph, Willie
41 Richardson, Hardy
42 Rose, Pete
43 Santo, Ron
44 Sheckard, Jimmy
45 Simmons, Ted
46 Start, Joe
47 Stieb, Dave
48 Stovey, Harry
49 Sutton, Ezra
50 Torre, Joe
51 Trammell, Alan
52 Trouppe, Quincy
53 Whitaker, Lou
54 White, Deacon
55 Wynn, Jimmy

Top 25 non-Hall of Famer candidates for the Hall of Merit, with 2007 HOM voting rank (Ripken-Gwynn-McGwire were 1-2-3) in parentheses: Bret Saberhagen (4th), Reggie Smith (5th), Dick Redding (6th), Bucky Walters (7th), Tommy Leach (8th), Bob Johnson (9th), Gavvy Cravath (11th), Luis Tiant (13th), Dick Lundy (16th), George Van Haltren (18th), Bus Clarkson (19th), David Cone (20th), Ken Singleton (21st), Tommy Bridges (22nd), Dave Concepcion (23rd), Albert Belle (25th), Rusty Staub (26th), Don Newcombe (28th), Rick Reuschel (29th), Tommy John (30th), Dale Murphy (32nd), Larry Doyle (34th), Elston Howard (35th), Bob Elliott (36th), Norm Cash (37th).
   11. sunnyday2 Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2631345)
Dan, I hope my further comments helped to define "fine." I mean, the article was meant for the unwashed masses, right? For us bourgeois enemies, it was too short! I mean, there's so many wonderful things to say! To me, what was most interesting was not who we elected but how. But as I said, for Times readers I'm sure the who is probably more appropriate. And actually you did cover some of the how as well, very briefly, but clearly and, er, fine.

I guess my one criticism would be that I think there's another major area of disagreement with Cooperstown and that is re. the post-expansion generation of players whom the BBWAA and the Coop seem bound and determined to keep away. The list of those guys whom we've honored might have touched a nerve. You mentioned Grich and Santo relative to the value of defense but obviously there's lots more.

I write a weekly column in my local paper re. politics and culture and just whatever the hell catches my interest and I've got 750 words, give or take. There's an old saying that I can write you a 2,000 word essay in a few hours, but 750 words will take a bit longer. So, yeah, Christ, you know it ain't easy. Knowing that, and that the article wasn't written for me or my HoM buddies, it was fine ;-)
   12. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2631346)
I would definitely be interested to hear whether the rest of the HoM electorate agrees with me about the four main patterns that distinguish our choices from theirs.

Response to sunnyday: But do you think there is systematic discrimination against post-1960 players, above and beyond the patterns I described? It seems to me like overrating of batting average and underrating of walks and defense pretty much sum it up...besides guys like Blyleven (and soon Raines) who were just hosed because they failed to reach a milestone.
   13. BDC Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2631347)
Thanks very much for that list, Howie. That to me is the single most interesting contribution (among many) of the HOM. It's fairly easy to see the real "mistake" HOF picks, Tommy McCarthy or Chick Hafey or others, but who should have gone in instead has till now been a matter of jousting opinions rather than systematic and exhaustive inquiry. I find myself mentally comparing the HOM list to the HOF list now when reading baseball history and running across names of star players. I think a lot of baseball historians and general readers should do that. Congratulations to all.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:07 PM (#2631348)
In the Hall of Fame, but not in the Hall of Merit

1 Aparicio, Luis
2 Bancroft, Dave
3 Bender, Chief
4 Bottomley, Jim
6 Brock, Lou
7 Cepeda, Orlando
8 Chance, Frank
9 Chesbro, Jack
10 Combs, Earle
11 Cooper, Andy
12 Cuyler, Kiki
13 Dandridge, Ray
14 Day, Leon
15 Dean, Dizzy
16 Duffy, Hugh
17 Evers, Johnny
18 Ferrell, Rick
19 Gomez, Lefty
20 Grimes, Burleigh
21 Hafey, Chick
22 Haines, Jesse
23 Hooper, Harry
24 Hoyt, Waite
25 Hunter, Catfish
26 Jackson, Travis
27 Johnson, Judy
28 Joss, Addie
29 Kell, George
30 Kelly, George
31 Klein, Chuck
32 Lazzeri, Tony
33 Lindstrom, Freddie
34 Lombardi, Ernie
35 Manush, Heinie
36 Maranville, Rabbit
37 Marquard, Rube
38 Mazeroski, Bill
39 McCarthy, Tommy
40 Pennock, Herb
41 Perez, Tony
42 Puckett, Kirby
43 Rice, Sam
44 Rizzuto, Phil
45 Schalk, Ray
46 Schoendienst, Red
47 Sutter, Bruce
48 Taylor, Ben
49 Tinker, Joe
50 Traynor, Pie
51 Waner, Lloyd
52 Welch, Mickey
52 Willis, Vic
54 Wilson, Hack
55 Youngs, Ross

Top Hall of Fame candidates for Hall of Merit, 2007 HOM voting rank in parentheses: Kirby Puckett (10th), Tony Perez (12th), Phil Rizzuto (14th), Hugh Duffy (17th), Burleigh Grimes (24th), Mickey Welch (27th), Vic Willis (31st), Lou Brock (33rd), Dizzy Dean (39th), Pie Traynor (44th), Orlando Cepeda (46th), Ben Taylor (47th), Dave Bancroft (48th).
   15. BDC Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2631353)
Dan, speaking from the outside, I don't think that the HOF undervalues defense per se, as witness various non-HOM glove men like Rick Ferrell, Ray Schalk, Bill Mazeroski, Rabbit Maranville, Phil Rizzuto, Luis Aparicio, Pie Traynor. But I think that the HOF has never had any concept akin to VORP or WARP that weighs offensive contributions by defensive position. Hence the HOF tilts toward hitters at hitting positions and fielders at fielding positions. I have some doubts about the way WARP works in detail, especially when comparing greats across eras, but the basic principle that Bobby Grich should be in a Hall of this size and Orlando Cepeda should be out (for example) makes perfect sense to me. The Grich type of player is exceedingly rare.
   16. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:23 PM (#2631359)
That's a very good point, Bob Dernier Metro, and one that would have improved the piece. Write a letter to the paper!
   17. salvomania Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2631364)
An awful lot of Cardinals in there---Bottomley, Brock, Dean, Hafey, Haines, Schoendienst and cases could be made for Cepeda and Sutter as Cardinals, given there greatest successes came as Cardinals.... that's 8 out of 55

Maybe we should be investigating the Midwest media bias....
   18. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2631365)
I really like both lists. It's interesting cause I thought there would be a whole bunch more guys who fall into the "actual legitimate intangibles that urge election into the HoF" on the HoF/Not HoM list.

Other than Cepeda, and different projecting of a couple of the NeL players, does anyone actually qualify for that?
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2631368)
Great article - very clear points - I've always hoped to see something like this.

Maybe we should be investigating the Midwest media bias....

Here he is.
   20. Repoz Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:35 PM (#2631370)
An old friend from our '66 LL WS team read the article and dropped me this note...

"I covet the feeling you still have for the game and the endless info which parallels it. Somewhere along the line I lost it in more ways then one. Happy to know that there are those whose purpose it still serves."
   21. BDC Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2631374)
I thought there would be a whole bunch more guys who fall into the "actual legitimate intangibles that urge election into the HoF" on the HoF/Not HoM list.

Other than Cepeda, and different projecting of a couple of the NeL players, does anyone actually qualify for that?


Perhaps Aparicio as a Venezuelan pioneer in MLB, Hooper as a nascent labor leader in 1918, Chance and Schoendienst as managers. Managing certainly entered voters' minds as a factor; I'm less sure about Aparicio and Hooper.

Not as legitimate in terms of HOF cases are the several broadcasters on the non-HOM list: Dean, Kell, Hoyt, Rizzuto. But being in the booth certainly helped them achieve election.

Lots of the rest played notably for championship teams, though any ascription of extra-special intangibility to them for that is probably misplaced. They were all tangibly pretty good ballplayers, and they had tangibly much-better teammates in almost all cases.
   22. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2631375)
I already said this on the thread where you announced you'd be writing it, but wanted to mention it here, thanks so much for writing that article! I thought you did a great job summing it up.

And I want to thank everyone that has contributed to the Hall of Merit, it's gone way beyond anything I would have hoped for. It's been a little over six years since the idea was first publicized, and it was stewing around in my head for a year or so before that. Time sure does fly by.
   23. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2631379)
[18] Well, Tinker and Evers weren't really HOF caliber players (especially Tinker who wasn't even a good player), but had the old "Tinker to Evers to Chance."
   24. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:54 PM (#2631382)
In particular, the writers have shown astute judgment: of the 55 Hall of Fame “mistakes,” 10 came through the “front door,” while 39 were chosen by the Veterans Committee and 6 were Negro leaguers.

I can find 9 of the BBWAA differences, but can't locate #10. Who am I missing? I got: Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Catfish Hunter, Herb Pennock, Tony Perez, Kirby Puckett, Bruce Sutter Pier Traynor, and Rabbit Maranville.
   25. Honkie Kong Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2631384)
Surely Eck is a mistake. Atleast as a first balloter
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:57 PM (#2631385)
Also wanted to especially thank the guys who did all of the work with the Negro Leaguers, pouring over the stats and contemporary reporting to come up translations that gave us something solid to work with when comparing them to Major Leaguers. The challenge was put out there (by saying we wouldn't elect them separately) and you more than rose to the task.

On the flipside, the biggest negative was in not mandating war credit for everyone effected. We could have built the knowledge base there as well. We did OK in that respect, but if it would have been mandated, as opposed to leaving it optional, we would have done better.

As I said overall, I'm floored at how well this ended up turning out.

I think if we want to keep going, the next step would be to rank the Hall of Merit not Hall of Fame group, so we could give some focus as to who the electors should be focusing on.

What I'd really like to see from the Hall of Fame is a 19th Century Committee much like the one for the Negro Leagues that recently corrected a slew of omissions.

It'd be nice to see a group with the ability to elect the 15-20 overlooked players from the era that got the game started.
   27. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2631386)
I would pick a nit with

"In particular, the writers have shown astute judgment: of the 55 Hall of Fame “mistakes,” 10 came through the “front door,” while 39 were chosen by the Veterans Committee and 6 were Negro leaguers."


The writers mistakes have been those of omission. Just saying that only 10 of the mistakes are theirs doesn't do it justice. Every Vets selection that wasn't a mistake is a mistake of omission by the writers.
   28. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2631388)
Perhaps Aparicio as a Venezuelan pioneer in MLB, Hooper as a nascent labor leader in 1918, Chance and Schoendienst as managers. Managing certainly entered voters' minds as a factor; I'm less sure about Aparicio and Hooper.

That's not why Aparicio & Hooper went in. Aparacio went in because of his reputation with the glove plain and simple. HOoper went in becasue he lived long enough to be profiled in Glory of Their Times.

Hooper points to one reason questionable picks get made: he did something to make people remember him long after he was gone. He and Marquard (and Goose Goslin, who deserved to go in long before) went in because of Glory of Their Times. Phil Rizzuto's announcing helped him out tremenously. Ralph Kiner - while not a mistake - experienced a tremondous recovery. He once made only 2.5% of teh ballots in one BBWAA election, but rose up to 75% a decade later. Mets broadcasts helped him.

Surely Eck is a mistake. Atleast as a first balloter

Eck's not the list in post #14.
   29. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:05 PM (#2631389)
The 10th is Aparicio.
   30. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2631390)
In particular, the writers have shown astute judgment: of the 55 Hall of Fame “mistakes,” 10 came through the “front door,” while 39 were chosen by the Veterans Committee and 6 were Negro leaguers."

The writers mistakes have been those of omission. Just saying that only 10 of the mistakes are theirs doesn't do it justice. Every Vets selection that wasn't a mistake is a mistake of omission by the writers.

I think you're both missing something: the election process ensures that writers' mistakes will be those of omission and the VC will make the sins of admission. The writers get crack at everyone, so of course end up getting the obvious picks. The VC threshes around on the edges where almost everyone is, by definition, in that grey area. Since the VC has elected far more men than the BBWAA, the overall bar for HoF admission (even exluding obvious Frischian mistakes) will be lower than whatever bar the BBWAA uses. Thus the worst BBWAA picks rarely look that bad, but their omissions glare at you while the worst VC picks .. . well, under any circumstances they look terrible, but even if they'd done a better job they'd still have a lion's share of the mistakes.

One thing I took from my time voting in the HoM is how much harder is is to separate the 10th best available player from the 50th best than it is to separate the 1st from the 3rd or even the 3rd for the 7th.
   31. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2631399)
Well, Tinker and Evers weren't really HOF caliber players (especially Tinker who wasn't even a good player)


Only if you totally ignore how important defense was to their teams.

The Cubs had one of the best five-year stretches in baseball history from 1906-1910 - a stretch built mostly around defense, with a group of pitchers who weren't nearly as good when they pitched anywhere else (even Brown). When Evers moved to Boston in 1914, the Braves became a contender, winning a pennant in 1914 and remaining competitive the next two years as well - again, mostly because of the defense, as their manager acknowledged before the WS.

If you look at the voting history of the three players in the BBWAA votes, Chance and Evers had a consistent, and high, body of support. Chance was generally over 50%, and was nearly elected by the BBWAA in 1945, coming up 9 votes short, and Evers was in the top 10 in every election from 1938 on, generally pulling around 40-45% of the vote. Chance and Evers finished 1-2 in 1946, ahead of such recent-vintage players as Hubbell, Grove, and Cochrane, about whose HOF qualification there is little argument. Tinker was further down, but was still around 15-20%.

There's a perception (fueled by Bill James, among others) that, because 2B had a lot of good hitters, defense at the position wasn't particularly important in that era. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you spend any time researching the deadball era, you come to realize that defense was important everywhere, and that the best hitters tended to play 2B not because it wasn't important defensively but because teams tended to emphasize "all-around" skills there (and in CF as well). You simply didn't see good-hit, no-field players tried at 2B; they usually ended up in the outfield.

-- MWE
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 02, 2007 at 07:43 PM (#2631403)
Funny though, Mike, that it was James who made me realize the HOF credentials of Evers, I think in an essay in his original HBA. Prior to reading that, I'd always assumed that Evers and Tinker got in the Hall because of the F.P. Adams poem.
   33. Steve Treder Posted: December 02, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2631429)
Only if you totally ignore how important defense was to their teams.

Excellent point. Tinker wasn't a great player, and his HOF election is obviously a goof. But to consider him anything less than a good player is to get it even more wrong.

The fact that 3B defense was marginally more important than 2B under Deadball conditions doesn't mean 2B defense wasn't important. The issue is that under those conditions (which meaningfully include the rudimentary gloves and ragged fields) all defense was challenging and important, especially in the infield. Tinker was a damn fine player.
   34. OCF Posted: December 02, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2631438)
Evers did make my ballot once or twice and Tinker once hovered around the edges. And Chance was a terrific offensive player, one of a handful of candidates for being the best first baseman between 1890 and 1920. But all three of them suffered from not having particularly long careers, and Chance had some in-season durability issues.

The problem with Tinker isn't that he wasn't at least a good player - he was certainly that. The problem is that he was elected while George Davis and Bill Dahlen were overlooked. The VC finally, finally made its amends with Davis, but Dahlen is still on the outside of the HoF.
   35. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 09:07 PM (#2631447)
I would agree that to say Tinker wasn't a good player is flat wrong. He was a very good player.
   36. John DiFool2 Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:14 PM (#2631512)
Anybody from the Usenet days remember the Virtual Hall of Fame? It had very similar aims to the HoM, but seems to have run out of gas sometime around the turn of the current century.
   37. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2631516)
I have a question about Earl Averill. I think that one of the HOM threads said that he got some minor league credit. IIRC, his PCL career was brief but he spent a few years playing in a twilight league. Am I misrembering something?
   38. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:17 PM (#2631518)
This blatant dissing of Arkansans (Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Travis Jackson, George Kell) &/or guys whose autographs I've got (Dean, Jackson, Harry Hooper, Burleigh Grimes, Earle Combs, Rube Marquard, Jesse Haines, Waite Hoyt) will not stand!
   39. Zach Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:37 PM (#2631540)
Congrats to everyone on catching up to the present. I've always been impressed at the quality of the debate and the research going into it, as well as the sheer knowledge you guys put on display. It's a little sad that that's going to shift into a lower gear now.
   40. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 02, 2007 at 10:38 PM (#2631541)
The problem with Tinker isn't that he wasn't at least a good player - he was certainly that. The problem is that he was elected while George Davis and Bill Dahlen were overlooked.


Dahlen suffers from three problems, of which I think the first was by far the most important:

1. Most of his good years were prior to 1900, and the HOF never quite figured out what to do with pre-1900 stars.
2. Dahlen's offensive value was almost entirely tied up in his walk rate, in an era where walks were perceived to be of little value.
3. Dahlen didn't play on good teams until he was well past his prime.

There were people who thought Germany Long was a better SS than Dahlen.

Davis was affected by #1 as well, although not to the same degree since he did have good years post-1900. Davis was also affected negatively, IMO, by his role in the AL/NL war, when he jumped back to the Giants and almost single-handedly derailed the peace settlement.

-- MWE

EDIT: Not to say that Dahlen and Davis aren't deserving, just pointing out why I think they were ignored for so long.
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: December 03, 2007 at 12:04 AM (#2631589)
"It's a little sad that that's going to shift into a lower gear now."

bah, a few miles to go before we sleep.

:)
   42. OCF Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:03 AM (#2631721)
This blatant dissing of Arkansans ... will not stand!

Hey, we elected Joseph "Arky" Vaughan. First year eligible, easy selection. Will you settle for that?
   43. Brent Posted: December 03, 2007 at 05:04 AM (#2631805)
I have a question about Earl Averill. I think that one of the HOM threads said that he got some minor league credit. IIRC, his PCL career was brief but he spent a few years playing in a twilight league. Am I misrembering something?

As you know, Averill first played in the majors in 1929 at age 27, an unusually late start for a player of his quality. During 1926-28 Averill hit .348, .324, and .354 for San Francisco in the PCL, with 23, 20, and 36 home runs. The Earl Averill thread has MLEs. We concluded that his 1926 and 1928 seasons were at the level of a major league all star. Minor league credit greatly helped his HoM case.
   44. McCoy Posted: December 03, 2007 at 05:11 AM (#2631808)
The Cubs had one of the best five-year stretches in baseball history from 1906-1910

Had one of, no, no, no. They had the best 5 year stretch in the history of baseball, not to mention the greatest 4 year stretch, 3 year stretch, 2 year stretch, 1 year stretch, 6 year stretch, 7 year stretch, 8 year stretch, 9 year stretch, and finally 10 year stretch.
   45. OCF Posted: December 03, 2007 at 05:57 AM (#2631844)
We didn't shut that team out completely - we did elect Mordecai Brown and Jimmy Sheckard. Of course, there was some uneasiness about Brown, and questions about whether he was being overrated - it's really a question of dividing credit for his success between him and the defense behind him. And if Chance had only stayed healthy and stayed in the lineup, he'd have had a much better case.

We've talked about a having a manager's wing, although there's doubt as to whether that will ever happen. Those Cubs do pose a challenge there: to what extent would you give the manager/"GM" credit to Frank Selee, who assembled most of the pieces, or to Frank Chance, who was the person in charge for most of the the greatest success?
   46. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2007 at 06:55 AM (#2631875)
How is that South American/Cubano wing looking? I want my Dihigo!
   47. Sean Gilman Posted: December 03, 2007 at 07:25 AM (#2631896)
Martín Dihigo was elected in his first year of eligibility in 1950.
   48. OCF Posted: December 03, 2007 at 07:25 AM (#2631897)
Lassus: Martin Dihigo didn't appear in either post 10 or post 14 because he is in both the Hall of Merit and the Hall of Fame. The same is true of Jose Mendez and Cristobal Torriente. For evidence that we did consider Cuban players, note the name Alejandro Oms, who is not in the Hall of Fame.

The world of Cuban baseball (and Mexican, and Venezuelan, and eventually Puerto Rican and Domincan baseball) overlapped with the North American Negro League world, and interacted with the major leagues (exhibition tours, etc.) We dealt with these players as we dealt with Negro League players: fully eligible for the Hall of Merit in their own time, and requiring an effort to determine what statistical record they had and to create MLE's where possible. We set up discussion threads for players like Pelayo Chacon and Perucho Cepeda who never came close to election. But we treated Japanese players as generally belonging to a different world, and we did not attempt to evaluate the likes of Sadaharu Oh. We did discuss the quality of play in Japan for such candidates as Willie Davis and Reggie Smith, and it's clear going forward that the NPB contributions of, say, Ichiro Suzuki will be evaluated as part of his case.
   49. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2007 at 02:43 PM (#2631985)
DanR, yes, I believe that the BBWAA and VC have systematically discriminated against post-expansion players. The numbers bear this out as do names like Grich, Trammell, Santo, Blyleven et al. A completely different standard is being applied today that the "traditional" standards of Cooperstown for players from about 1900-1960 and certainly players from the 1920s and '30s.

So yes, it goes beyond under-appreciating defense and etc. Cooperstown underappreciates everything about the past half-century.

Or, in other words, I was trying to make the same point Joe made in #27.
   50. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: December 03, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2631988)
You may be right--I'd have to count--but there have been a lot of offensively bad post-expansion selections (Brock, Mazeroski, Sutter, Cepeda, Pérez, Puckett, Aparicio, Hunter). I guess I was swayed enough by all those names to assume that they were simply making the *wrong* post-expansion choices rather than not making enough of them altogether.
   51. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:33 PM (#2632028)
Thanks, Brent. For whatever reason, I thought his PCL career might have been shorter.
   52. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2632069)
The pattern of post-expansion choices is interesting. The in's mostly have some really easy sound-bite or hook to hang their candidacy on.

Brock--SB
Maz--glove, DP
Sutter--splitter, first modern closer?
Puckett--the personality, 2 rings
Aparicio--glove, SB
Hunter--played on 2 famous teams and was one of the first FAs
Perez--very famous team
Cepeda--not quite as easy to pigeon-hole, I guess

Whreas the guys they've missed on are your classic multi-tool guys or, more to the point, guys who don't just do one thing and therefore don't have that hook. Grich and Trammell, to name two obvious ones. Santo had a hook or two but was overshadowed by a teammate or two.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 03, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2632371)
Plus Santo's teams were generally not very good - he never played in a post-season game, and the one good team he was on faded horribly in September. It's easy to see how you'd have to win a couple of MVP Awards and hit 500 HR with a prime at a key defensive position like Ernie Banks to get in through the BBWAA in that context.

Also, not sure if this hurt him, but park effects finally started to be understood when he popped on the ballot in the 1980s, perhaps there was an overcorrection for Wrigley.
   54. sunnyday2 Posted: December 03, 2007 at 09:26 PM (#2632667)
So who should the HoF elect (from the HoM/not HoF list in #10. Here is a HoM style ballot.

1. Pete Rose
2. Bill Dahlen
3. Ron Santo
4. Joe Jackson
5. Ross Barnes
6. HR Johnson
7. Bob Caruthers
8. Mark McGwire
9. Alan Trammell
10. Bobby Grich

11. Dobie Moore
12. Deacon White
13. Dickey Pearce
14. Ezra Sutton
15. Will Clark

Patterns? Well #1, 4 and 8 are ineligible, either formally or informally. #2, 5, 7, 12, 13 and 14 are 19C. And #6 and 11 are NgL. The other pattern (the one DanR didn't mention) is the systematic undervaluing of post-espansion era players. That would be #3, 9, 10 and 15.
   55. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 04, 2007 at 04:51 AM (#2633212)
For my money, Blyleven and Santo (and hopefully not Raines) are the guys really getting hosed. At least with the 19th C. guys there's the confusion Mike mentioned above, and the possibility that no one had seen them. For other post-expansion candidates there were extenuating circumstances: Simmons's and Torre's gloves, Allen's personality, Trammell and Whitaker's lack of a single identifiable aspect of greatness.

But Blyleven and Santo have all the attributes typical of well above average selections for their positions, and they have the kinds of markers that Hall voters usually see as positives. Overall, I agree with Sunnyday2 that they are victims of a tighten-up in the institution's standards that comes at the expense of highly worthy candidates yet still allows in borderliners like Perez or worse (Maz, Sutter, Puckett).

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